Frequently Asked Questions

This section addresses some of the common questions and concerns you may have about the high school experience.  Our website has a good search engine, so give it a try if your question is not answered below.

You may also find answers at My College FAQ, a site that provides another source of information on the college planning process.

As always, feel free to contact the Guidance Staff directly!

How will I know who my child’s guidance counselor is?

All freshmen students are assigned to Andrea Smith (9th grade counselor) or Christina Smith (IEP counselor).  During the registration process for sophomore year, the students are re-assigned to a counselor that will be with them for the remainder of high school.  This split is determined by last name.  To determine which counselor your child is paired with, refer to the Guidance Staff section of this website.

How many terms and semesters are there in a school year?

There are 4 terms(quarters) and 2 semesters each school year.  The dates for the 2017/2018 school year are:

Semester I: August 17 - December 21

Quarter 1: August 17 through October 20

Quarter 2: October 23 through December 21

Semester II: January 3 through May 17*

Quarter 3: January 3 through March 9

Quarter 4: March 12 through May 17*

*subject to change pending snow days

How often are report cards and progress reports distributed?

Progress reports are not mailed home, rather they are posted to student and family skyward.  If you are in need of a skyward account, please contact the guidance office.

2017/2018 Progress Reports 

End of Quarter

Quarter Grades Posted/Issued

September 22

October 20

October 23

November 21

December 21

January 5

February 2

March 9

March 12

April 13

May 17*

May 17*


What are the attendance and absenteeism policies at AHS?

The faculty and administration of Alton High School are committed to offering a quality education to their students. School attendance is crucial to learning and will be closely monitored. Classroom participation and student/teacher interaction are fundamentally important reasons for good school attendance. Therefore, the following policies have been adopted to maximize student attendance in school and in class:

  • Upon arrival to school, students are to report to the commons or auditorium hallway.
  • All students are expected to be in class on time. A student who is tardy to class will be admitted to class. If the student has an acceptable note or pass from a staff member, the tardiness will be excused. Otherwise, the student will be issued a tardy.  Disciplinary action is given after each three tardies.
  • A student who is enrolled in a course is expected to be present each time class is in session.
  • Please refer to the handbook for a complete description of policy.


Some missed classes are for legitimate reasons and do not count in calculating the maximum limit. Family vacations during school time are not excused absences. The following circumstances are considered legitimate:

  • Absence due to illness or medical appointment, when confirmed by a DOCTOR, IN WRITING.
  • Death in the family, when confirmed in writing by parent/guardian.
  • Observance of religious holidays, when confirmed in writing by parent/guardian.
  • Pre-Approved, school sponsored field trips.
  • Class meetings approved by the administration.
  • College conferences and visitations (maximum of two per year), which have received prior approval from the administration and are supported by notes from parent/guardian.
  • Other school-related and administration-approved meetings or functions.
  • Court subpoenas.
  • Registry of Motor Vehicle appointments (i.e., learner's permit or road test).
  • Extenuating circumstances as deemed by the Attendance Review Panel and/or administration.

 Absence: Calling In

Parents/guardians must call the school (618-474-2700) extension 16214 or 10214 as soon as possible to register with the office the reason for the student's absence. In the event a parent/guardian does not notify the office by the close of school the following day, the student will automatically be deemed unexcused. A call must be made within this time frame for each day of absence. The responsibility for this procedure is that of the parent/guardian and the student. 

 Dismissals from School

Students must sign out in the Attendance Office upon departure. No student will be dismissed without a parent or guardian’s authorization.

What athletic opportunities does AHS offer?

AHS offers multiple sports during the fall, winter and spring seasons, available to all students.  Refer to the Athletics website for a complete list of teams and coaches.  Prior to each season, a meeting will be held for all student athletes who intend to try out for a team that season.  The coaches will provide information about tryout dates and other relevant details for the upcoming season.  An athletic form and physical form, along with the appropriate sport fee, must be submitted to the Athletic office prior to a student being allowed to participate in tryouts.

What standardized tests will be required during high school?

There are several college admission tests recommended by the guidance department including the PSATs, SATs and ACT exams.  Please refer to College Admissions Tests for more detailed information.

How important is it to be involved in extracurricular activities, such as clubs, sports, and volunteer projects?

Counselors recommend that all students participate in one or more extracurricular activity while in high school to become a well-rounded member of society.  Students who are involved in activities feel more connected to the school.  Also, colleges and scholarship committees frequently request information on extracurricular participation and demonstrated leadership while in high school.

What Student Governance programs are available for students to participate in?

Student Government

Each class at Alton High School elects a president, vice president, secretary, historian, and treasurer to provide leadership and organization, and establish lines of communication among the student body, student council, school council and the administration. It is the responsibility of the officers to address the needs of the classes and to inform the classes about Student Council activities.

Student Council

The Student Council is the umbrella under which all the other clubs and student organizations at AHS function. Although membership is by election, the council is an "open" council. This means all interested students wishing to participate as council members can join the ranks by attending at least three meetings in a row and volunteering to actively participate in at least three projects of the council (including dances, homecoming, spirit week, community service projects, etc.).  The council participates in statewide conferences and has interest in the national organizations of councils. At AHS, this council is responsible for the student activities calendar and is a support to all clubs and activities. Members are leaders serving as role models to all students and are active participants in meetings and leadership building programs.

Are there Community Service requirements for graduation?

No, community service is not a requirement for students graduating from Alton High School.  

Do the students have Final Examinations?

All students are required to take final exams at the end of the first semester in December and at the end of second semester in May. Incomplete grades must be turned into the guidance department no later than two weeks after report cards have been issued. 

What are the requirements for National Honor Society at AHS?

If students meet the academic requirement, they are then eligible for consideration on the basis of community service, leadership, and character.  Please see the NHS sponsors, Mrs. Kuehn or Mr. Vidrine for more information.

What are the course levels and how are placement decisions made at AHS?

All placements are designed to provide maximum intellectual challenge for each student. The school makes placement decisions on the basis of aptitude as determined by standardized testing, past academic performance, and teacher recommendations. Placement assumes that ability will allow success, but normal student effort is also assumed; low grades are not automatically a basis for dropping levels. It is also assumed that students and teachers will anticipate upward movements in level placements based on intellectual growth over years of schooling. Placement levels may vary in different subject areas, and trial attempts at upward placement are encouraged. All course levels are designed to challenge students, promote critical thought, and provide opportunities to problem solve. The professional staff at Alton High School is committed to the following: all students, upon graduation, will be expected to demonstrate they can synthesize, organize, and apply knowledge to complex and real life situations, and are fully prepared for post secondary education and/or work. 

Whom can I contact for more information?

Our Guidance Staff is always available to help. 
Also refer to our "Who to Contact" list to find the best person to reach out to in other AHS departments. We look forward to working with you!

Subpages (1): Who to Contact